We're smack in the middle of summer which for some means, ROAD TRIP!
While just piling into a car, pointing in one direction and driving can be fun, a little planning can go a long way towards making sure you have fun along the way.
1) Roadtrippers: What to do when traveling from point A to point B
Let's say you're driving from Pasadena, CA to Las Vegas, NV. You plug in both locations and the app will tell you all of the different things to do, sights to see, things to take pictures of, places to eat, places to camp and sleep; All of the fun things that are located between the two destinations.
So, for instance, I didn't know that between us and Las Vegas you could go camping, sky diving, and visit an old mining town. They get more exciting than that, but it's useful if you don't just want to go from point A to point B without doing anything fun.
The app also analyzes the trip and estimates the distance, gas costs and the time. To get to Las Vegas from Pasadena it'll take three hours, 42 minutes, cost $45 in gas and it's about 260 miles away.
2) Jetpac City: Discover new things based on Instagram posts.
You can really use this app when traveling around your home town or if you're out on the road. What it does is use Instagram images to tell which restaurants and businesses are the most popular.
If there are a lot of smiles in the photo, the company's algorithm sees that and knows that this is a place that people go to have fun. Or if there are a lot of martini glasses over beer cans, they know that it's a bit more high class. If a user's photos are all taken in L.A. and then all of the sudden they have a few popping up in Las Vegas, the app will know that that person is a tourist.
According to the company, they've struggled with poor image quality on Instagram photos and having a computer accurately identify things in photos is not perfect. For instance, I was playing with the app and there was a restaurant that had a lot of pictures of someone's baby in their house tagged onto it. Didn't make sense at all.
The other problem that I had with the app had to do with the notes below photos that describe which sorts of people are posting the most photos at a certain location. So, when I searched for 10 popular mexican restaurants around me, below one, it noted that there were an "unusual number of photos by: Hispanic people." It was the description of Hispanic people that raised an eyebrow.
People from Ana to Zorro, identified by names that are most likely Hispanic. Disclaimer - Doesn't necessarily denote soccer talent. No Monopoly on the name Jesus (accents may vary).
They have these sorts of insensitive descriptions for other groups of people too. I could see people being turned off from what could be a useful app.
3) Touch Room: If you miss someone and you want to touch them
You fire up the app, join a room, as does your partner, and all you see is a blank, cream colored screen. That is until someone touches it. At that point a heart pops up on the other persons screen and if they touch the heart, both phones vibrate! Totally cheesy, but fun.
We did a call out on air for people to join the room Take Two and to touch each other, and people showed up. Thanks for participating!